Man accused of driving drunk, killing linemen will go on trial next month

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Thursday marked the one year since three linemen were killed while trying to restore power in Chipley after Hurricane Michael.

James Ussery, of Washington county, Ryan Barrett, and George Cesil, both of North Carolina, were in a ditch off of Highway 77 when they were hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver.

From left to right: George Cesil, of North Carolina and James Ussery, of Chipley
Ryan Barrett, of North Carolina

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said John Goedtke, of Tampa, was behind the wheel and driving drunk.

He’s charged with multiple felonies including three counts of vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter.

Goedtke pled not guilty and a jury trial is expected to start in November.

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